Wrigley is looking to breathe new life into its £42m Airwaves brand after turning around the performance of category powerhouse Extra.

With a new look, it is repositioning Airwaves as a ‘pocket pick me-up’ that delivers an intense burst of flavour and gives consumers an ‘invigorating mental kick’.

The Airwaves revamp is particularly aimed at teens and 20-somethings - with bold cartoon-style outdoor ads urging consumers to ‘Pocket some pow!’. Wrigley is also replacing the brand’s current green mint with blackcurrant (rsp: 45p for 10 pellets).

Sales of Airwaves are currently up 2.2% by value to £41.5m but have fallen 2.2% by volume year-on-year [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 14 April 2012]. Its success in stabilising sales is broadly in line with a recovery in the gum category after a sharp decline three years ago, with overall value up 3.8% and volume down 0.7%.

But the industry has been looking to Wrigley for some time to do for Airwaves what it did with Extra, after its back-to-basics approach helped the number one gum brand increase sales for the second year running, up 14.5% by value and 7.6% by volume. Extra - which has 60% of the market - promoted the oral health benefits of gum.

Wrigley marketing manager Daniela Campari denied Wrigley had been neglecting the rest of its portfolio in favour of Extra, and said it had first needed to get its core brand back into a strong place.

Airwaves was known for helping consumers breath more freely and the new activity was designed to “broaden this mindset while awakening a new generation of chewers,” said Campari. She added that the various gums in the Wrigley portfolio - which includes Five and Orbit - did not cannibalise each other and catered to different needs.